First Look: Imagi Animation's AstroBoy Up Close and Personal

October 5, 2007
Source: Hollywood Reporter


The people over at Imagi Animation Studios have provided us exclusively with the first look in high res at the upcoming AstroBoy CGI movie. This is the same studio that brought us TMNT in March, and damn did that movie look fantastic! It was one of the most comparable CGI movies to a Pixar movie that I've ever seen. One of Imagi's upcoming features (in addition to Gatchaman) is AstroBoy, a big screen CGI adaptation of the cult Japanese manga and eventually TV anime series that originated back in 1952. Curious to see how AstroBoy looks in CGI?

The photo has been removed at the request of Imagi Animation. Please stay tuned for exclusive AstroBoy photos arriving within the next few weeks that will only be found here on

AstroBoy tells the story of a powerful robot boy created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he lost. Our hero journeys to find acceptance in the human world and ultimately discovers true friendship as he uses his incredible powers to help others and save Metro City from destruction.

AstroBoy is being directed by long-time animator Colin Brady. He commented on the film in a recent update, stating that they're "being faithful to Tezuka's original story arc, [and] at the same time bringing out elements needed for those unfamiliar with the story." He also added more about working on the project, which was entirely new to him when he was first approached.

"I was intrigued with the possibility of the project. I'm in the process of educating myself about the 'AstroBoy' universe, and I love what I see. 'AstroBoy' utilizes very classical story principles of the hero's journey that we see in all good storytelling around the world, Jensen said. "AstroBoy has the moral underpinning and strong emotional resonance that a lot of animation today is lacking."

Given how much I actually liked TMNT this year, I'm fully supportive of all things Imagi is doing. They're based in Hong Kong but that doesn't mean they have the same dedication and passion as the people at Pixar and DreamWorks here in the US. AstroBoy will arrive in theaters sometime in 2009.

AstroBoy poster

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  • "They're based in Hong Kong but that doesn't mean they have the same dedication and passion as the people at Pixar and DreamWorks here in the US." whoa dude, better check if you missed a word there in that sentence or it might pass as an offensive remark about the work ethics of the fine people at imagi
  • Evar
    "whoa dude, better check if you missed a word there in that sentence or it might pass as an offensive remark about the work ethics of the fine people at imagi" I second that... in the half a second prior to the thought that its possible that a word may be missing, I was pretty pissed.
  • Dick
    I don't like it. They doesn't know how to translate the japanese style into AstroBoy, imagi only know to translate ALL THINGS in 3D will become SUCESSFUL, this is a wrong concept.
  • jinnaboy
    i dont get what dick is saying. The anime influence is faultless in my opinion. And please, sumbody change that little mistake regarding ppl in Hong Kong not having enough dedications when compared to Dream(i'm-a-multi-billion-dollar-talking-donkey)works.
  • chad
    Who fellas, calm down. Being friends with an Imagi employee, I can say that they are just as dedicated as the fine studios in the US. I don't think its fair to claim that they serve that Mantra that "3D = good". Thats just not fair. Anyways, I've been a turtles fan since I was tiny and thought their version of the Turtles was incredibly well done. I am eager to see this new movie in motion. I doubt that they are going to take a story and a license like this and create anything less than extraordinary. Give this movie a chance passed the screenshots and you may be suprised. Good luck to all the ladies and fellas at Imagi. You guys rock!
  • ashusmotion
    it is just mindblowing work.
  • Dick
    I would like to support what I say. Still I think they are still "failed" to translate or introduce a new style to AstroBoy. Please have a look at Animatix at least. See how they achieve a stylized look in 3D. That is what I would like to expect for AstroBoy. Don't just apply the standard SSS material on the AstroBoy's skin, that is totally a cliches.
  • jinnaboy
    i highly disagree with what you are saying Dick and it seems you are contradicting yourself a little when you refer to the animatrix having stylized 3d. last i checked the only animatrix short in 3d was the one done by square Honolulu and the general consensus is that it was the worst of the bunch and it is in fact, not "stylized" at all since it was going for the whole super realism look. photorealistic CG is not stylized 3d. it involves a lot less creativity input then the traditional method and is only a hollywood gimmick which is useful perhaps in small indiscernible scenes using digital stuntmen.
  • Macintyre
    Eh, nobody thought that the Turtles adaptation was good. The movie was simply terrible. Sorry, but I had to share the obvious.
  • Dick Ma
    I know what you mean, Jinnaboy. But what I know about animatrix, the Flight of the Osiris is not the only animation that use 3D. The other animations in the animatix also use 3D to achieve the 2D hand drawn look. the technology is about to use a 2D shader in the 3D scene. They can do that in 3D but the output can be a 2D stylized look. I just think they don't take risk, just do everything safe in Maya and do all things in standard.
  • M
    Dick Ma, I suggest you not to make conclusion so soon at this early stage, from a single frame of the test teaser. I am not against 2D stylized look, but it is only one of the many style to treat Astroboy Movie. And it shouldn't be the only absolute way of treatment. You can express your opinion and we all know what you think. There is no need for you saying it again and again. Please respect other's ideas.
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  • Streetsy
    I enjoyed the TMNT movie for what it was. A bit of light fun. I work in CG and I really enjoyed the look and feel to the film, and appreciate the amount of work that went into it. (Well done guys). I ama huge fan of Astroboy too so I cannot wait to see how they go. The only thing I think that lowered the standard of TMNT compared to Pixar/Dreamworks etc is the rigging of the characters. Their elbows and knees lose volume while bending and there is no muscle system under the skin. This is a time consuming process to create so Im sure they will get to it when they are ready. Its so easy to complain about CG but I think that these guys need to be applauded for actually doing something. Can't wait to see more Astroboy. Streetsy
  • marco
    holy crap! so is there roadshow in japan? im afraid that not Im partially agree with Dick Ma, there need more work to shaders, looks like SSS default settings but is just one frame to say more. ganbatte kudasai marco from tokyo
  • Dick
    Do a research first when you produce the animation. My advice. May be I am just too critical when making comments on just one image. Do you know SEGA once produce a video game in PS2 for Astroboy? They do a really good job using 3D, but transformed to the 2D look?
  • Death
    You guys are all idiots. Its obvious that the comment about dedication was simply a typo, i.e., "not" missed out. Give the guy a break.
  • RobbyRobo
    I'm personally glad that they didn't use a 2D look here. I HATE cel-shaded CG. It looks cheap and is mostly used by amateurs to avoid having to do proper shaders, and is usually accompanied by amateurish animation. If you want a 2D look, learn how to draw. If you're doing 3D, do it right. There are so many great things you can do with 3D, such a variety of looks that can be accomplished, it's such a waste to slap a stock toon shader on everything and call it done. I'm looking forward to Astro Boy, but I pray the story is better than TMNT. Ugh...
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  • Dick
    RobbyRobo, It is really untrue that 2D shader is cheap and it is mosty used by amateurs, Do you know for the best result to have the 2D look in 3D, you have to concern 2 things: color shade area and Ink line tracing. At least I can see the EFFORTS if they can try to tune every shader to have the best look, rather than now, I can only see a standard SSS preset.
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  • I think that is not complete it needs more japanese spirit, also I think that his face does not have that "spark" of the original, if they want to make a 3D image it needs a lot more heart to it.
  • Bapesta
    Oh man, someone please change the typo, it is quite insulting. BTW, looking forward to AstroBoy!! Keep up the good work Imagi!!!!!
  • This movie will rock for sure! A top-notch story... some of the best minds in the business are sticking to the original concept.... I can’t wait until it is released.
  • RNS
    Let these people do their creative job!some you all are still stuck in the past the same goes for any genes of media entertainment. If you want to be a movie critics than get pay not be trashing some movies if you have not work on or produce it!
  • Anifan
    Ive seen one pic of astro boy so far and i didnt totally like it, i just wish it were a mix of that and the style they used in the final fantasy movies, for the pic i saw it looked kinda like jim neutron
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  • archie carsula
    i love astroboy since i was 5 but with what they did in this 3-D movie, i think most of character's emotions they want to depict are lost (just basing it on trailers). look at what they did with "beast wars transformers" & "tigger and pooh". i think 2-D illustration is still the best for this lovable dude. Maybe if only they went on what "Streetfighter IV" graphic design team's approach to the new released game, astroboy could be more entertaining and more superb (if you're not a gamer and don't know the streetfighter series, please just look in youtube for game clips or your local arcade shops =)




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